Heading to Niagara Falls to enjoy Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is a great family vacation idea. No matter what time of year or what type of weather, you and your little ones are guaranteed to have all sorts of fun — with one caveat: If someone in your crew has a fear of water that keeps her from being able to relax — even in skill- and age-appropriate water settings — it can greatly reduce the quality of everyone’s vacation.
If you’d like to take a vacation to Niagara Falls, but you’re worried that you’ll have to skip or micromanage the water park, don’t despair. There are oodles of tricks you can put up your sleeves that just might finally put the problem to bed. Here are four of them.
You may have tried swim lessons in years past, but just because your child didn’t like them three years ago is no reason not to try again. Children are always changing, and as they gain new skills and have new experiences, things that once terrified them might now only scare them slightly. Contact your local YMCA or parks and rec department a month or two before your trip, and get your little one in for some one-on-one swim lessons. It may be all he needs to relax and learn to love the water.
2. Water Aids
From foam noodles to goggles and water wings, get your hands on every conceivable water aid you can. The sheer number of them may be enough to make the whole fear of water seem comical. Have her practice wearing them around the house, in the bathtub, and in the car, and while she does, talk about how the water aids make being in the water safer, more colorful, and more fun.
Sometimes, a child’s imagination has gotten the best of him — in a negative way — in regards to a specific fear. Have him tell you why he’s afraid of water, and then, encourage him to tell a different story — one that hasn’t happened yet — about having a good time in the water. Show him photos of the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, and have him imagine playing in the various areas with his siblings or other children. Invite him to change his story about water from one of fear to one of fun. This approach will also enable him to get familiar with the water park long before you arrive, which can also greatly reduce any anxiety he may have about it.
4. Don’t Pressure
While getting your child to overcome a fear of water is something that needs to happen at some point, it may be that it won’t happen on your preferred timeline. That’s ok, and it doesn’t have to derail everyone else’s fun at the water park. Simply explain to the one who’s afraid that she can read books or draw during the time her siblings are rocketing down the slides. Sometimes, when a child is presented with options that don’t feel pressuring, she’s able to draw upon her own resources of courage and strength to try something difficult. Of course, she may not want to do that, too. Either way, the no-pressure approach will keep everyone’s stress levels low, which is always a good vacation goal.
Don’t let a little fear of water get in the way of your family vacation at the water park. Try these four tips, and you just might succeed in frightening the fear away.